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To have an opinion

18 Jan

I’ve written and deleted many posts over the past few months and wondered at my inability to generate anything interesting. After some reflection, I realised my problem was that I didn’t have any opinions to call my own.

Thanks to the abundance of reviews, forums, comments and the like, I’m finding it very difficult to believe in my own originality. Of course, it is rare for a person to have completely original ideas, but in the past, you could at least half-believe that you were alone in thinking something. Such comforting self-deception is no longer viable today. It is starting to feel as if everything to be said about something already has been said, with varying degrees of eloquence and it’s hardly difficult to find.

After realising that, rather than be paralysed, I decided to be free. Yes, there may be innumerable others with the same thoughts and feelings that I have, but this blog is my own space for me to express my own thoughts as best as I can – or choose to. It’s not how my future posts will be but it’s a start.

For my first opinion to kick things off, The Lizzie Bennet Diaries is an endearing and fun adaptation of Pride and Prejudice that has been modernised but remains true to its roots. The vlog format is fresh and entertaining, the cast are perfect for their roles and the use of social media (tumblr. & Twitter especially) is innovative and this is the only version of Lydia that I actually like or can sympathise with.  If you have ever kinda liked the book or any of the other adaptations (delectable Colin Firth in the BBC1995!), I would definitely recommend it!

(Click start from the beginning after you hit the link above. And be prepared to lose many MANY hours of your life :X)

You only need to watch Lizzie’s videos, but the experiences is greatly enhanced by all the other social media (Lydia’s videos, Maria’s videos and again, I say, TWITTER AND TUMBLR!)

the LBD

Photoset of cast (missing Allison Paige), by the Meryton.

Events and moments

13 Oct

I think writing, like photography, is perfect for capturing moments, and it is through the capturing of such moments that I can bring an event to life for the reader.

For instance, I recently attended my cousin’s wedding. I could say that it was in such-and-such a church, that about one hundred people attended, that the bride was beautiful and the groom was happy.

But just a description doesn’t bring it to life. Instead I remember moments.

I was with the bride as she was dressing up. The dress had to be pulled on, so she sat down, legs waving in the air as four of us tugged and pulled the puffy skirt up her waist and finally zipped it up (with some difficulty).

She almost sat straight onto her bridal bouquet of purple tulips as we were dressing her, drawing loud shrieks of consternation from everyone in the room.

The bride was meant to pin the corsages onto her family, but after too many failed attempts by the bride and everyone else, the photographer put down her camera and finished it in minutes, finally telling the bride :

‘I’ll take pretend photos of you pinning them on later.’

In the church, as we waited for the bride, I sat with the bride’s little brother and helped him write a congratulatory speech for his sister.

The groom cried as the bride walked down the aisle on the arm of her father.

The pastor marrying them had known them both almost all their lives, and he was almost as delighted as the respective parents to see them married.

The bride’s mother hesitated slightly before voicing her consent to give away her daughter.

During his heartfelt self-written vows, the groom declared that he would endeavour to keep their marriage bed active into their 50’s. Amidst the general amusement of the attendees, the bride asked, ‘Only fifties?’, eliciting more laughter.

That was the sort of wedding I attended, and it was funny, warm and beautiful all at the same time.

Congratulations cousin! I wish you all happiness. It was a privilege and joy to share a tiny part of your wedding moments.
(and I also hope you will never read this for too many reasons. I’m tempted not to post it, but I hope you’ll forgive me for going ahead.)

Perfect endings

8 Oct

I used to love a good happily ever after. Adequate closure was important to complete my enjoyment of any story in whatever form it took.

This year however, I’ve been reading a lot of short stories. They’re generally not known for having great endings (some don’t even fit into conventional story forms). I didn’t realise how much I’ve been influenced until after watching a movie with friends recently. All of us unanimously agreed that the movie was good, but quite a few voiced out that they were unsatisfied with the ending. I blurted out,

‘But the ambiguity is what made it perfect!’

After I said that, I realised. I’ve been changed. I still believe there’s a place for happy endings – in rom-coms and light fluffy works. Other than that, give me a ‘what happens next is up to you’ any time.

(I should have added that there was character growth and we could see the shifting of relationships, and I won’t ask for much more from a story than that.)

I can’t let jrock go.

24 Sep

I currently have a one week holiday and am in a brilliant mood.

Don’t really care if no one is reading, I’ll take this as a journal I’m leaving out for the whole world to read 😉 . and I know my thoughts aren’t that interesting or controversial haha.

Was thinking about music today and thought about getting Spotify, because I heard that it is pretty good for getting to know relatively unknown artists. Only con is that is doesn’t have very much Japanese music (I checked).

I thought, ‘Maybe it’s time I let go. It’s expensive, hard to maintain and fellow fans are few and far between.’ I don’t have my sister’s energy and obsession. I just prefer Japanese (rock) music on a whole. Then on my shuffle, I heard the Gazette’s Cassis, my second favourite song from that band. This led me to look up recent releases and found Uverworld’s ‘The Over’. (another down side, song names are usually weird and a little embarrassing to name in public :X)

I love Uverworld.

First exposure to them was Colors of the heart, then Koishikute and Go-on. I adore Go-on, even if I can only sing three lines in the entire song, and they are ‘wo -oa-oa’ (can’t be bothered linking but I’m pretty sure they’re all on youtube).

The Over is everything I love about Uverworld, and Uverworld covers pretty much what I like about Jrock.

Not going back to English music anytime soon.

(I’ve been reading a lot about defamation and libel lawsuits against bloggers. Partly for fun and partly for an essay. Somehow it just makes me want to blog more instead of less. theOatmeal’s victory against funnyjunk and that lawyerCC with a name I can’t remember makes it even more compelling.)


EDIT: Gackt has a new release coming out soon. WHO CARES ABOUT ENGLISH MUSIC?

Edit 2: I’m just a little bit unreasonable about Gackt. Don’t care what he’s done or what he’s like IRL, just looooove his music. Well, most of it.


6 Sep

I follow a lot of writers on twitter for the same reason most other people follow musicians and celebrities – I idolise them and yearn to be like them. The writers occasionally post snippets of their lives, photos, places they’ve been to and things that they read.

Today, someone tweeted about this website, Letters of Note. It features letters written by people, as far as I can tell, fairly recently, within the past 100 years or so. I spent about two hours going through them, and I realised that lots of people have a gift for prose and an engaging, vivid style. They have what my teachers call an authentic ‘voice’ that emerges strongly in their writing, almost as if you can picture and hear the person saying it. The letters are also wonderful, there’s like a hundred story ideas and a hundred opportunities but right now all I can feel is envy and despair.

It isn’t there, it’s not there at all, the magic, the special voice, the gripping beauty of writing, the combination of prose and poetry, it isn’t there. I don’t have it and I want it. I covet it.

I have to finish about 2000 words by tomorrow and I don’t know how am I going to do it now. I read the letters for inspiration but they are mockeries, taunting me with what I want to be.

I want to write, I need to write, but what am I supposed to do with all these words that won’t come out as they should?

Am I allowed to call this ironic?

22 Jul

It may seem strange that now I’m in a writing course, I have not updated my blog.

The main reason is actually because I save all my writing now just in case I can use it for any of the self-reflective essays I want to write. The anti-plagiarism tool scans websites as well as journal articles (which is why paraphrasing is so important), so if I had something too similar posted here and it was picked up upon, I’d get a nice big ‘FAIL’ for unoriginal material. Yes, I’m sure I can eventually explain it, but why risk it?

Life has also been uneventful. I know a good author can always find a story anywhere, or at least make even the dullest occasions seem interesting, but I’m not there yet.

I have also been rather depressed – wait, too strong a word. Former psychologist-to-be-me objects – my spirits have been dampened by the depressing reading material in my course. Short stories, especially modern short stories, are generally written to provoke, to excite, to cause one to tease and tear and worry, generally, not meant to elicit pleasant emotions, or happy feelings. Death, disgrace, overt sensuality, shame, the base and carnal, fear and the darkness that lurks both within and without… I am getting my glut of them. Not all the stories swing that way, but on a whole, they do. Of course, some handle it better than others, but we’re encouraged to read a wide range. Some are surreal, or exist in a hyperreality, of senses and feelings more real than reality. I appreciate the crafting that has gone into writing the stories, but the content affects me.

Then there’s the funny bits, like having to read bad books. I just finished ‘The Castle of Otranto’, known as the first gothic novel, and is believed to be the inspiration for a whole genre of fiction. First of its kind does not in any way make it even close to best of its kind, or even vaguely good. It was simply too much, hammy, and over the top. If it had been a parody of gothic literature, then maybe it would have been more acceptable (but would need a some changes).

In a quick summary, yes, I am enjoying my course. I am learning many, many things about writing that would have been difficult to learn on my own. I like the exposure I am getting to books and stories I would not have picked up. Of course it’s difficult and I get exposed to things I would have rather avoided, but I get to enjoy the challenge of crafting and creating. It’s not easy, it frustrates me and I wish I had a steady future to look forward to but… it’s everything I wanted and more. And I guess that makes it worth it.

it’s too late if you want to break me, I’m already broken.

3 Mar

Like grasping onto smoke or air, no matter how hard I try to hold onto you, you slip away back into the darkness. Even now, even now to wake up and find reality as it is, hurts.

I’ve also suddenly been reminded another reason why I haven’t been able to finish Nanowrimo all the other years I’ve attempted it or thought of it. November is a month of paralysing emotions, of guilt and of helplessness, of remembrance of failure when a bright spark in my life was extinguished.

No matter when it is, the memories of the bleak Novembers rise up year after year to haunt me.

the ghost of you wanders through my dreams.

Peter Galen Massey

Haiku, Book Reviews, Commentary & The Occasional Nonsense


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